Sports Science at the Rio Olympics


Another inspiring Olympic Games is over… But if you are already suffering from the post-Olympics blues, here is a selection of resources and articles on a whole variety of topics surrounding the Games. No doubt there are many others so feel free to add any other links or suggestions in the comments below.

Olympics Research Medals - Explore who is leading the science behind Olympic Sports []

Science of the Summer Olympics [NBC Learn]

How scientific rigour helped Team GB’s saddle-sore cyclists on their medal trail [The Guardian]

Why U.S. Distance Runners Won So Many Medals at the 2016 Olympics [Runner’s World]

From drones to VR: The secret gadgets behind Team GB’s success [The Telegraph]

Olympic Gold May Depend on the Brain’s Reward Chemical [Scientific American]

Sleep Could Be An Olympic Athlete’s Secret Weapon [Inside Science]

Have We Reached the Athletic Limits of the Human Body? [Scientific American]

Kinetic Signatures Look at the 8 finalists of the Olympic 100m, and you will see 8 athletes make their way down the track in 8 differing ways.  The 100m race is the ultimate in mechanical individualization. Every athlete in the top 50 in the world has a different technique - many vastly so. Nikolai Bernstein likened skill acquisition to solving a puzzle; each one requiring a totally individual solution. It is imperative we don’t impose our own solutions to these puzzles; have a destination in mind - but allow the athlete to find his own way there.  Our job is just to keep them on the map, and maybe to act as a compass. It seems that most coaches tend to cue one of two ways: 1) pushing (ground-based cues - "push the ground away"); and 2) popping (air-based cues - "pop the thighs forward"). Having a technical model is important, but not every athlete will benefit from the same cues In my experience, most sprinters fall into one of these two categories, and it is important we understand where they fit, so we can cue appropriately. Some sprinters are built to push - cue these guys to push. Some are built to bounce - cue these guys to bounce. The guys that want to be on the ground - your cues need to reflect this.  Cue pushing.  Those that tend to get off quicker - cue these guys to pop the thighs. Giving an ‘air-cue’ to a guy who grinds the ground won’t work.  Giving a ‘ground-cue’ to those that can’t feel it?  Going to be a frustrating time for both of you. Square pegs and round holes, and all that

A photo posted by Stuart McMillan (@fingermash) on

Humans of the future could be much faster than Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps [Business Insider]

Work of support staff to push Team GB towards rowing gold a brutal business [The Telegraph]

Team USA using cutting-edge technology to train for Rio [Wood TV]

The science behind Team Singapore [Yahoo]

The age of Olympians: Rio 2016 highlights younger, older athlete performances [Sports Illustrated]

Cycling’s ‘Bletchley Park’ gives Team GB edge at Rio Olympics 2016 as part of Room X [The Telegraph]

Rio 2016 Olympics: science behind the sports [Science in School]

How Can We Save Sport From its Doping Crisis? [Outside Online]

World Records: Fossils, stagnation & a tale of two drugs

Faster, Higher, Stronger - and Smarter [E&T]

Team GB to give athletes best possible facilities at Rio Olympic Games [ESPN]

How previous steroid use could give a boost for entire athletic career [The Globe and Mail]

Why Athletes Will Win the War Against Performance-Enhancing Drugs [Gizmodo]

Team GB’s Olympic success: five factors behind their Rio medal rush [The Guardian]

One man has helped turn U.S. women’s volleyball into ‘Moneyball’ [NBC Olympics]

How did Team GB make history? [BBC Sport]

The Science of Olympic Rivalries: Do Adversaries Help or Hurt? Live Science

Rio 2016 is Britain’s golden age, but what has been the secret of Team GB’s Olympic success? [Mirror]


Jo Clubb


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